Invitation to Submit Proposals for Initiative to be Considered at the Heirs’ Property Prevention and Funders’ Forum
Heirs’ property occurs when a property owner dies intestate or with a will that leaves property to multiple beneficiaries, resulting in a fractured or entangled title. Left unresolved, this becomes a barrier to the ability to sell, collateralize, improve, or otherwise transfer the property. Because heirs’ property is disproportionately found in racial and ethnic minority, low-wealth, rural, and distressed urban communities, it is a critical barrier to minority homeownership and the creation of generational wealth and racial equity. As a significant contributor to blight and unrealized equity in poor neighborhoods throughout the country, the scale and pervasiveness of this challenge is shocking. For example, in the state of Georgia, $34 billion worth of tax appraised property is probable heirs’ property according to a 2017 USDA study. In 1980, the Emergency Land Fund estimated that 41 percent (3.8 million acres) of all Black-owned land in the Black Belt region was heirs’ property.
On December 2, 2021 in Atlanta, GA, the Funders’ Forum will seek to bring together potential funders with dozens of nonprofit and other organizations from 22 states and the District of Columbia. The intended outcome of this forum is to establish a capital, human, and organizational support basis for heirs’ property resolution and prevention pilot initiatives in the following areas: education and awareness; pro-bono legal services; academic research; local government innovation; and developer/contractor driven affordable housing initiatives. Potential funders, including philanthropic and other grant and resource providers, law firms, financial institutions, and builder and realtor trade groups, will have the opportunity to hear from nonprofits and other organizations as they pitch scaled pilot solutions to this group in an in-person and virtual environment. The forum has been designed to allow funders and organizations with initiatives in their market to connect and determine their mutual interest in funding a proposed solution.